…testimonies of the Deity of Christ
This teaching was given on Resurrection Day 2021 by pastor Barry Forder.
The most important question ever asked was asked by Jesus to His disciples at Caesarea Philippi in Northern Israel, around 6 months before His crucifixion. After asking whom the people were saying that Jesus might be, Jesus turned to His disciples and asked them “But who do you say I am?”
It is not a trivial question that can be dismissed by a glib answer; how you answer this question will change the course of your life and eternal destiny. Everything in this life, every success or failure, gain or loss, are all brought into context by your response. In the end, EVERYTHING will be determined by this one question and your own personal answer to it.
Either Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God, or he was a deluded fool – or worse!
C.S. Lewis famously said: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. . . . Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God”. (Mere Christianity, 55-56)
In this study we explore some of the powerful testimonies and eye witness accounts of those who testified to this very fact, that Jesus was indeed the Son of God – God manifest in human flesh.
- We consider the testimony of Jesus Himself. The crucifixion was not a tragedy, it was an achievement! It was why Jesus had come. For the last 6 months of His ministry He foretold his own death and resurrection.
- The testimony of the Disciples – all the Disciples (with the exception of John) went to their deaths proclaiming Jesus was God.
- The testimony of the Roman Centurion – the first Gentile convert, who witnesses first-hand the events at Golgotha proclaimed that this man was no ordinary man, He was the Son of God and worthy to be praised!
- The testimony of Joseph of Arimathea – one of only 14 people in Jewish history to be called ‘honourable counsellor’ (Mark 15:43). Yet this member of the Sanhedrin became a believer and risked public disgrace to take a stand as a Disciple.
- The testimony of the Roman guard at the tomb – although paid to never utter what they had witnessed, they could not keep this world-changing truth to themselves! Their record is amongst the most compelling of eyewitness accounts of the Resurrection.
- The testimony of Pilate – the Roman governor who proclaimed Jesus ‘not guilty’ went on to write a letter to Emperor Tiberius confirming the events that had taken place in Jerusalem in A.D. 32. The arrest, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth! – From Tertullian (who wrote around 200 A.D.) we understand that Pilate became a follower of Jesus.
Finally, there is the testimony of Moses. Moses? Yes, for around 1500 years before the events in Jerusalem Moses wrote of Jesus being taken on the 10th day of the month (Palm Sunday), killed on the 14th as a spotless Passover Lamb, buried on 15th – the Feast of Unleavened Bread – and then becoming the Firstfruits to God raised up from the earth on the day after the Sabbath – the first day of the week – Resurrection Day!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study, and then be able to answer the most important question of all time by saying that Jesus is your Lord and your God!